NCAA Sweet 16:
Starting in reverse order:
The Arizona Wildcats pulled held on to defeat Xavier, 68-60 in the late contest featuring the goofy yet talented Matt Stainbrook. I'm Uber-excited to no longer have to deal with this blatant corporate sponsorship and no I don't understand the concept of irony because I learned it from Alanis Morrisette.
Kentucky stomped West Virginia in a 78-39 rout that was over maybe ten minutes into the first half; a scorched earth campaign perhaps prompted by WVU guard Daxter Miles Jr.'s comment, "I give them props. Salute to getting to 36-0. But tomorrow they're gonna be 36-1."
Devin Booker, your thoughts?
36 and won— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) March 27, 2015
To add salt to the wound, Sportscenter tweeted this out:
WVU freshman Daxter Miles Jr. - who said Kentucky would be 36-1 after playing Mountaineers - finishes with 0 points (0-3 FG) in 19 minutes.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 27, 2015
Kentucky on a mission is scary good. The trail of destruction so far:
- UK 78 - 39 WVU
- UK 77 - 43 South Carolina
- UK 86 - 37 Mizzou
- UK 83 - 44 UCLA
- UK 72 - 40 Kansas
Wichita State’s past four years: Four NCAA Tournaments, two Sweet 16s, a Final Four, a No. 1 seed and 122 total wins. Amazing stuff.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 27, 2015
If he does end up leaving for Alabama, I'll admit my frustration in Mizzou being unable to secure his services, which isn't necessarily a knock on Kim Anderson, just an acknowledgement of incredible success.
Friday Line Up
Today's match-ups don't entice me like yesterday's, but your mileage may vary.
The opening game sees traditional blue-blood UCLA face traditional cinderella Gonzaga, the latter led by Kyle Wiltjer, a 6'10 Kentucky transfer who apparently couldn't crack their rotation but is leading the Bulldogs with 17 points and 6 rebounds. I turn green with envy as I wonder if Mizzou will ever have another post with that kind of impact. But I digress, I didn't think UCLA deserved their bid and despite this being a revenge match from their previous run-in, I think the Bruins' season ends today.
North Carolina State vs Louisville finds two teams who many probably didn't expect to make it this far, but the all ACC matchup looks like the most interesting game of the evening as Mark Gottfried attempts to double down on the Pack's conference road win against the Cardinals. I think it's easy for casual fans to forget how tough Rick Pitino coached teams are, this being their fourth straight Sweet 16 game. I have Louisville advancing because Montrezl Harrell dunks are cool and
Jack Peglow destiny says they'll meet Kentucky in the championship game.
The Utah Utes vs the Duke Blue Devils, red vs blue, Coach K(rystkowiak) vs Coach K(rzyzewski) is actually my pick for the upset of the night. Duke is a solid team with Quin Cook and Justise Winslow (awesome name, btw) on the outside, but Jakob Poeltl is a legit 7 footer down low who may be able to matchup against Jahlil Okafor and really I'm just trying to talk myself into an upset because come on it's Duke who doesn't like to see them upset?
The Fighting Tom Izzos from Michigan State advance to yet another Sweet 16 with an underrated team. No this isn't copy/paste from 2012, 2013 or 2014. The Spartans catch a team Mizzou saw during it's non-conference in Lon Kruger's Oklahoma Sooners and no I'm not bitter but I'll be rooting #SpartyYes!
If you haven't joined the SB Nation Real time Bracket challenge, it's probably too late, but if you're in Rock M Nation's traditional pool and your name isn't Mori23 you're probably losing to my wife or I.
Friday, March 27 (ET)
|7:15 p.m.||CBS||Houston I||Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruins||Nantz/Raftery/Hill/Wolfson|
|7:47 p.m.||TBS||Syracuse I||Louisville vs NC State Wolfpack||Lundquist/Spanarkel/LaForce|
|After conc. I||CBS||Houston II||Duke Blue Devils vs Utah Utes||Nantz/Raftery/Hill/Wolfson|
|After conc. I||TBS||Syracuse II||Michigan State Spartans vs Oklahoma Sooners||Lundquist/Spanarkel/LaForce|
Saturday's NCAA regional finals on TBS (Central time):
5:09: Wisconsin vs. Arizona/Xavier
7:49: Kentucky vs. Notre Dame
Mizzou Women's season comes to an end
Missouri women's basketball team loses to Michigan 65-55 in 3rd rd of WNIT. Tigers led by nine at one point. Finish season 19-14.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) March 27, 2015
It was only a matter of time before this over-achieving group couldn't get enough shots to fall (only 6 for 27 from 3 point range), but if they stay healthy they return a loaded squad that should be able to build on three consecutive WNIT tournaments and solid recruiting. Congrats on the strong season ladies, looking forward to next year!